“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” – Philippians 3:13
Have you ever messed up before? I know I have. I personally have made my fair share of mistakes in the past, and a lot of those mistakes I can blame on foolish pride or anger. That being said, I figured when I really buckled down as a Christian, those mistakes would go away. That didn’t happen. Then I thought to myself that when I follow my calling of becoming an ordained minister, I’ll be free from those sins once and for all. Nope. It turns out that I still sin, I just become more aware of my failings. However, over the years I’ve learned that it’s OK to fall now and then, we all do, just as long as you keep getting back up.
Whether you are a preacher, a politician, or a PH.D., you are going to screw up. Just because you have accepted Christ doesn’t mean you are immune to the sins of this world. You will have your momentary failings, but the trick is to keep looking forward. The more you set your sights on what is good, the more you become acutely aware of your own shortcomings. That’s ok though, because the first step to solving any problem is acknowledging there is one. The second step is not getting hung up on the first step.
To use a football analogy, there’s a thing called forward motion. The point is to keep the ball going downfield toward the goal. You don’t take the ball out of the fight though, it’s still right in there, but it’s on the way to the goal. Same goes for us. We aren’t free from evil, but we are on the way. As long as you breathe, you will have battles to fight. The key is to maintain that forward motion with yourself. Don’t get bogged down on what happened yesterday or ten years ago. Keep moving forward. You won’t always get it right, but you can always learn from the mistake and try not to make it again.
Don’t waste your time with worrying about things that happened in your past. Think about what lies ahead of you. If you get hung up on bad news or bad people from yesterday, you’ll never see what God has in store for your tomorrow. Imagine that you only have so much space in your head. You can either fill it with bad thoughts and memories or you can fill it with hope and the knowledge that you are loved by the Creator. Once you look more to God and His love, it becomes easier to overcome setbacks when they happen. The things that plagued you before, such as anger, envy, or pride become minor players in a much larger theater. You aren’t worried about lust, because you focus on pure things. You don’t get sidetracked by laziness, because you have God and other people to serve.
Make a promise today to focus less on your circumstances and focus more on Jesus. Don’t see a problem as a stop sign, see it as a yield sign. Yield to God, be humble about your failings, then press forward towards the goal of Heaven.
God’s blessings to you.